Side Views

It’s not about Anwar or Ambiga — Gomen Man

May 21, 2012

MAY 21 — Let me put an end to the fastest-growing cottage industry in Malaysia: attacking and demonising the likes of Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, Ambiga Sreenevasan.

Millions of ringgit are being earned by bloggers, phantom writers, politicians, operatives, PR agencies and anyone with a plan or video or story to “damage” Pakatan Rakyat or Bersih leaders. The thinking from Putrajaya is that if these leaders are “killed off” then the momentum behind the opposition and those behind the call for electoral reform will be ended.

That is why the mainstream media has sunk to the lowest of low with lies and that is why the likes of Hasan Ali and Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim are being given unparalleled coverage by the Media Prima media group to hammer their former political colleagues.

But let me tell the patrons of videos, bum exercises, threats, etc the reality: the awakening of Malaysia’s middle class and urban population does not depend on whether Anwar is around or whether Ambiga is leading Bersih.

No doubt both of them and other leaders played roles in bringing attention to the populace the myriad of issues facing the country but the thousands of people who turned out for Bersih 3.0 did so because they don’t want to turn their face away from electoral fraud, corruption, abuse of power, overt racism, arrogance of Umno and other issues.

If the government spent some real effort dealing with these issues instead of sweeping everything under the carpet or performing window dressing, they would not have to spend millions on a campaign to demonise Anwar, etc.

We can live without Anwar, Ambiga and other individuals. We have moved beyond icons.

* Gomen Man reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.